The majority of snowboarding injuries occur in the wrists.
When you fall, your natural instinct is to protect yourself with your hands.
But in doing so, your wrists will take the impact of the fall and the weight of your body, leading to a host of issues.
Should You Wear Wrist Guards When Snowboarding?
Snowboard wrist guards are not very common.
When you learn to snowboard, you learn how to fall.
You stop using your wrists to protect yourself and so you don’t suffer as many sprains and breaks.
However, if you’re just learning how to snowboard or you have problems with your wrists (including RSI and anything that could make them weak or more prone to injury) then you should wear snowboard wrist guards.
How Do You Protect Your Wrists When Snowboarding?
The best way to protect your wrists is to learn how to fall properly.
Wrist guards can help, as well, but all snowboarders should learn how to fall if they want to prevent wrist injuries.
If you feel yourself falling on your wrists, bring your arms in front of your chest to protect them.
That way, you will fall on your forearms and not your hands, thus preventing sprains and breaks.
It’s important to stay relaxed, as well. If you stiffen up, you’re more likely to injure yourself when you fall.
Can You Still Break Your Wrists with Wrist Guards?
Snowboard wrist guards are not foolproof.
Wrist injuries can still occur and if you’re throwing caution to the wind just because you’re protected, they may become more common.
Generally, however, the risk of wrist injury is reduced when you wear wrist guards and fractures are also much less severe.
What to Look for When Buying Snowboard Wrist Guards
A good set of snowboard wrist guards should touch on all of the following points:
- Protective: The main goal of snowboard wrist guards is to protect you against wrist injuries. Durable plastic splints should provide protection, but the outer material is important as well and can offer extra protection.
- Comfortable: Wearing wrist guards can be uncomfortable and awkward, but some are more awkward than others. Reviews can help when looking for comfortable wrist guards, but it’s mostly down to personal preference.
- Durable: Look for wrist guards made using a durable material, one that won’t rip or wear after a few sessions on the slopes.
- Adjustable: Look for Velcro straps and other adjustable straps to create a snug fit. The looser they are, the less effective they will be.
- Breathable: Are the wrist guards breathable? They’re going to get hot and sweaty, there’s no stopping that, but some breathable fabric or a breathable design will make them a little less sweaty.
Are Wrist Guards Just for Snowboarding?
Wrist guards offer good protection for most extreme sports, including skateboarding and mountain biking.
For winter sports like snowboarding, the design may be a little warmer and quicker drying, but the ultimate goal is the same and you can use your snowboard wrist guards for other extreme sports.
For more protection, make sure you wear elbow pads, knee pads, and a helmet.
Serious injuries are uncommon in snowboarding, but they still happen and high-quality safety gear will negate such a risk.